Giving Impact Stories

Julia Brodecki

Grainger Engineer, 2020

The scholarship support I received removed much of the stress surrounding my financial experience at college. During my senior year, I participated in additional academic research. I received a small semester stipend for my research however, most of my time was unpaid. My scholarship support ensured I did not have to give up research time for additional work hours. I had a wonderful experience at Illinois, and I am very grateful for the benefits I received because of philanthropic support.

Post-graduation I had planned on starting as a product development engineer at 3M in June. My start date has now been pushed back with the potential for further delay depending on how the COVID-19 situation evolves. I am now even more grateful for the support I received through my Engineering Visionary Scholarship as this scholarship helped me graduate debt-free and so this delay in start date will not place a significant financial burden on me.

Reflecting on my time at Illinois, I am very proud of all the work that The Grainger College of Engineering has done to promote diversity amongst its students and faculty. Many strides have been made to help encourage women and minorities in STEM and these fields are slowly becoming more diverse. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to create long term equality in the field of engineering. I have directly benefited from funding intended to help promote female enrollment and have very fond memories of attending the dedication of the Quintessential Engineer statue which serves as a physical manifestation of the college’s goal to promote female engineers. I am very grateful to the men and women who have helped pave the way for my success and I look forward to the opportunity to help the next generation of female engineers learn to do the impossible.